Arizona in January / Flying with Red

Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Work can be hectic, work can be stressful, but work can also be fun.

I got the chance to fly out to Arizona for a shoot last week. When we left Milwaukee (at 5AM) it was 0° and a few hours later we were in Arizona where it was about 65°. A nice change of pace from the harsh Wisconsin winters. We also went out to the desert for some shooting while we were there. Sure, it got cold at night (in the 40’s) but we survived.

The first day I think we wrapped just before 1AM, and since we’d gotten up around 4AM to get to the airport, well, it was a loooong day. The second day was a bit more laid back, but we still hustled and got everything shot.


This was our first out-of-state shoot with the Red One and our biggest worry was traveling with it. Scott Bourne’s blog post Traveling? Better Get a UPS Account had me a little worried, and we decided that checking in our baby was not a good idea, and shipping it all was not a good option due to the tight schedule of the project, so what we ended up doing was buying a ticket for the Red One. Yup, it ended up being a passenger, with it’s own ticket, and it’s own seat. (Sadly, it didn’t get it’s own carry-on or snack.)

We had two other crucial pieces of gear, and since we had 3 people flying out there, two of us just took the gear as carry-ons. This let us know where the gear was at all times, and as I said more than once “equipment is more important than clothes!” meaning, we could buy new clothes, but lenses, filters, matte box, etc. would be near impossible to replace if it was lost along the way.

Making sure the Red One could go on the plane took quite a bit of legwork and phone calls. Between the TSA and the airline, we got conflicting information, but eventually we were armed with printouts from the TSA web site and reassurance that what we wanted to do would work… and it did.


Your New Desk

Welcome Back! Jerk...



Milwaukee Strobist Meetup (Time-Lapse)

The Milwaukee Strobist group on Flickr met at Z2 Photo on June, 23rd 2009… Here’s a time-lapse video of the event.

(This video is also available at and at Vimeo and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License.)


Milwaukee Strobist Meetup

I’ve been interested in the strobist technique of photography for a while now, but just haven’t found the time to really get into it… and the fact that my flash died at PhotoCamp certainly didn’t help things…

So when I heard about the Milwaukee Strobist group on Flickr I had this cunning idea… Invite them all out to Z2 Photo for the meetup! This was one way to ensure I’d be able to make it. :)

And come they did! We had at least one guy from Chicago, and I think a few from Madison… We had RSVP’s for about 15, and I’d guess we had about 30+ photographers there, as well as 5 models. (Here’s a group shot we did quickly at the end, some people had already left, but we got a good majority of the group.)

Milwaukee Strobist Meet up 06.23.09

And hey, I even got a few shots that I was happy with… (Thanks to everyone who loaned me equipment. Someone gave me a SB-600 to use, and at least once there was a lens on my camera that weighed 3 times as the body itself, and probably cost 4 times what my camera did!)

Milwaukee Strobist June 2009


I sort of felt like “well done lighting” plus “experienced models” made it easy to get above average shots… I know that when I’ve been left alone with lights and someone who needs a portrait, it’s a lot tougher, and good product photographer can be even more difficult. Walking into a situation where it’s all set and you just snap the shutter takes about 90% of the work out of it. :) (But hey, I’m not complaining, this was still a great experience, even if all you did was watch how other photographers do things, and I did ask a number of questions, and get some really good information in the process.)

I’m hoping at the next meetup there’s a bit more talk of “why” the lights are set up a specific way, and the many factors involved in getting a good portrait shot. Still, this was a really good experience, and a lot of fun.

Audio Channel Uncategorized

Bucketworks Radio Commercial

Occasionally at Z2 Marketing, I engineer radio commercials. If you still listen to commercial radio, you may have heard one of them!

Well yesterday I was communicating with Jenn from Bucketworks, and we somehow came up with an idea to create a radio commercial for Bucketworks. Gabe agreed to be the voice, and Dana from Z2 Marketing re-wrote Gabe’s script, which was loosely based on my idea, which was way too long (but very amusing) so the results is below…

I love the fact that an idea can go from concept to completion within just a few hours. Granted, it helps when you have all the facilities at your disposal, and people willing to help. When creative people work together, good things can happen.

You can download an MP3 of this commercial, or an alternate version with no background music.

If you do a podcast, or a radio show, we’d love for you to play it. Thanks!